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Friday, June 28, 2013

What the Veg: Lentils

Okay, so lentils are really a legume and not a vegetable, but I have 3 zesty ways to serve up these baby beans.  But first, a little background in case you are new to wonders of lentils.  They range in color from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black.  They also vary in size and are sold in many forms, with or without the skins, whole or split.  You can find them in most grocery stores, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Trader Joe's.  I like to use them to make salads, dips, and stews.  The possibilities are endless.

Lentil and Bruschetta Dip
My sis-in-law recently made this and I can't stop eating it.  It is so easy!

1 package Trader Joe's steamed lentils (refrigerated section by lettuces)
1 tub Trader Joe's bruschetta (fresh in refrigerated section by hummus)

Combine ingredients in a bowl.  Serve with bell pepper and cucumber slices.

Lentil Salad
I posted this recipe in a previous What's For Lunch post.  Click here to view.


Lentil Sloppy Joe's
This recipe comes from Chocolate Covered Katie.  I use red lentils for this dish. 

2 15-oz cans lentils, drained and rinsed (about 3 cups cooked lentils)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1-2 stevia packets, or 3-5 tsp sugar or sweetener of choice, or to taste
14 oz tomato sauce (I used no-salt-added)
up to 1 cup water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce (or soy-free alternative)
optional: 1/2 an onion (diced) and 2 tsp oil

If making these on the stovetop: sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until onion is translucent. Add lentils and spices, stir, then add all other ingredients and cook uncovered (stirring occasionally) until thick like sloppy joe filling. If making this in the microwave: add all ingredients to a large microwave-safe dish (minus the onion and oil, which you won’t use with this method). Microwave until it boils, stir, then repeat the process until it is thick like sloppy joe filling. Makes about 5 cups.

The recipes above are just the beginning.  Lentils make a great soup, a variety of stews, and a fantastic topping on greens.  Lentil it up and share your recipes!